Entering into teens is a significant period for children. They begin discovering who they are, how they look etc. They begin to feel more conscious about their body and react to bodily changes. For many it is very emotional, stressful, confusing to enter into puberty. Many fear the weight gain and terror being subjected to teasing by the peers. Some develop eating disorders as a way to cope with the pressure.
Eating disorders is not just dieting to lose weight but it is actually extremes in eating behavior, where diet is never ending a
nd get more restrictive due to high dissatisfaction of the teen. Some of the common food-related disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, binge eating etc.
Anorexia Nervosa – It is a condition where there is drastic weight loss caused due to self-induced starvation. Anorexics believe that they have distorted body image and their main problem is being too fat, but in actual they are underweight. They don’t recognize it and hence becomes difficult to provide treatment to them. It all starts when child begins eliminating desserts from the meals, excludes bread and other fattening food from diet, exists more on water only. Teen suffering from anorexia goes to the extreme of counting the calories consumed on daily basis and repeatedly denies that one is hungry.
Bulimia Nervosa – The condition involves cycle of binging and purging till it takes toll on the body. It even harms emotional well-being of the child. The pattern for teens afflicted with bulimia nervosa is that they consume large amounts of food and then in order to get rid of excess calories, they vomit, use laxatives or diuretics or exercise obsessively. Some even use combination of all these forms of purging.
Binge Eating Disorder – It is recently recognized disorder, where teen gets involved into uncontrollable compulsive overeating. A child afflicted with this disorder eats large amounts of food at one sitting at least two days a week. The binge is characterized by: eating faster than normal speed, eating large amounts even when not hungry, overeating while feeling disgusted or depressed. No one knows exact cause of binge eating disorder as there are several factors that contribute. Binge eaters behave in a specific manner. At home, teen who is a binge eater may carry food to his or her room and then lock the door and enjoy eating alone. Also, may hide food under beds or in closets, so that no one would come to know that they are binging. Some binge eaters are also ashamed of their behavior and suffer tremendous guilt. It is curable as teen can control binge eating and get back to his normal eating routine.